How often do you do a complete change?

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Another UC wife
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 2111
   Posted 1/7/2011 10:13 PM (GMT -6)   
The ostomy nurses at the hospital basically said every 3-4 days max.  Our home health nurse who has been coming in 3 times a week says it is ok to go 5,6,7 days if it is not showing any signs of lifting.  Personally if it is ok to go up to a week with no adverse effects it would be better on the skin is our feeling. (He kind of has sensitive skin which was one of the big reasons I was hoping he would be a viable candidate for the j-pouch down the road and not have a permanent ileostomy for that reason but it didn't work out that way.)
So....Is that ok to use a wafer up to a week?
He is using the Hollister (convex) 2 piece system that the hospital started him with and since we are comfortable with that we are sticking with it for now.  I am reading through this site and writing down suggestions and will order samples to try once we feel comfortable experimenting.  He is using the clear bags for now since this is all so new and the visual is a little more important for him to monitor and be able to determine if it needs emptying or not.

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 1/7/2011 10:19 PM (GMT -6)   

I use the Hollister 2 piece Convex system, and it has worked well for me. I change once a week, usually at the 7 day mark. If I am feeling unsure, I changed on day 6. Have gone to day 8 without an issue before. Before I found the Hollister System, I had nothing but trouble and leaks. Everyone has to find what works best for them. Good luck.

David in SC
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 11/10 Not taking it
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/23/10

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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5975
   Posted 1/8/2011 11:19 AM (GMT -6)   
     Personally, I use the Coloplast one piece.  I had a few incidents with Hollister...breakage of bag, so switched several months ago.
     I had a few irritations under the wafer.  I use stoma powder and it works great.  My surgeon suggested leaving the wafer on longer, up to a week, because the irritation will be less.  I leave it on about four days.
     How's hubby doing these days?  You're a great wife!  My husband has been a ROCK for me.  I sooo appreciate all the help he has given me.  He still insists on changing my bag for me.  I can do it myself, but he prides himself on  Sort of reminds me of my dad and mom.  Mom was on peritoneal dialysis the last several years of her life and dad always did her exchanges.  She knew how to do it but he felt needed.  Poor soul died before mom did and she moved in with us for the last year of her life.  They were married 58 yrs when dad passed.  Oh well...getting off topic.
      Best of luck to you and your hubby.  Hope he improves daily.  God bless.

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Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 1/8/2011 12:53 PM (GMT -6)   
i ususally do about five days, if i feel an itchy before hand that wont go away i will change sooner, or if i dont have any plans to really go anywhere and know i will be around home if at five days i have no itchies and no wear on the appliance and such i will wait 6 or 7. sure seals will help with the wear time ALOT.
But at first its probably better to change more often, because the stoma size changes so fast.
UC for 8 years, before finally kicking its butt and having a permanent ileostomy April 17 2007!
-I have gone to find myself, if i get back before i return, keep me here-
No matter what kind of day you are having, take five minutes to sing loudly and dance like a fool!

Another UC wife
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 2111
   Posted 1/8/2011 3:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Every day is better and better thanks. Considering it was 3 weeks ago yesterday he was operated on this is amazing actually. Just went out for a little bit and visited with my sister who is 2 weeks ahead of him and she is coming along..her recovery was a bit slower as she was in a terrible flare, very sick, emergency surgery and developed an infection afterwards which is now gone.

I gave her the link to this site so she can also get info from here that I know will be a help for her as well.
64 yr old male --suffered with UC & in May 06 severe flare & hospitalized 6 days...various prednisone treatments leading to steroid dependence and osteopenia, 12 asacol, 200 mg Imuran, failed remicade infusions Jan-May 2010 Dependence on pain meds. Made decision in 6/10 to have surgery which was on 12/17/10 and no longer in pain.

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Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 720
   Posted 1/9/2011 12:13 PM (GMT -6)   
My ET nurse originally said I could go up to a week without changing as I wasn't having any leaking issues at all. However, I went in to see her for a pouch changing refresher course, as I wanted tips on being more efficient. She saw that, for me, the Adapt Rings I use (and love!) were getting eroded after about 4 days. She recommended not going any longer than four days to avoid irritation around the stoma. So now I change twice a week... usually on Mondays and Thursdays, as I always have Mondays off of work and then Thursday I change in the evening right when I get home. Then again, I have only been back to work one week so we will see how this changing schedule goes.
-Officially diagnosed with UC in 2006, though had symptoms since 1999.
-Had mild/moderate symptoms continuously until severe flare in autumn 2010 which required 2-week hospital stay
-Took Asacol, Rowasa, Canasa and Prednisone to manage flares but meds stopped working
-Tried 1 infusion of Remicade but had excruciating joint pain and discontinued
-Had permanent ileostomy surgery 11/8/2010
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